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Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve

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505 Guana River Rd, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082-6527
+1 904-823-4500
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Review Highlights
Beautiful waterway with great nature trails

The area is a protected reserve . This is old Florida and delightful to visit . Parking is limited... read more

Reviewed 15 April 2018
laj2e7
,
Orlando, Florida
via mobile
Walking Tours available - free!

The GTM reserve has an alternative office south on the A1A in Marineland. From there they have... read more

Reviewed 15 March 2018
Marcia P
,
Silver Spring
Read all 152 reviews
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The Reserve was established in 1999 as a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) System and is one of three NERRs in Florida. The Reserve staff manage the Guana Dam parking area, three beach lots (north, middle, and south), a trail system, the EEC, and a field office in Marineland, Florida. The Reserve’s 73,256 acres also includes Guana River Wildlife Management Area, Deep Creek State Forest, Stokes Landing Conservation Area, Fort Matanzas National Monument, Washington Oaks Gardens State Park, Faver-Dykes State Park, Moses Creek Conservation Area, Pellicer Creek Conservation Area, Princess Place Preserve, and the River to Sea Preserve, all of which are managed by separate agencies. The Reserve is an important economic, ecological, and educational resource for local communities. The estuary provides valuable ecological services such as a nursery, storm protection, flood protection, oyster habitat, and water quality. Its health is fundamental to the survival of endangered ocean species such as the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) and sea turtles. These resources provide economic opportunities in the form of fishing, recreational businesses, and jobs. As a NERR, the Reserve conducts scientific research, stewardship activities, and educational programs. Some of the unique aspects of this Reserve are its rich cultural history, location by the first city in America, pristine and quiet beaches, and diverse habitats.
  • Excellent72%
  • Very good26%
  • Average1%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible0%
Travellers talk about
“the reserve” (19 reviews)
“hiking trails” (7 reviews)
Open Now
Hours
Hours Today: 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Suggested Duration: 2-3 hours
LOCATION
505 Guana River Rd, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082-6527
CONTACT
Website
+1 904-823-4500
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JPMiles / Payback Arrow
Reviews (152)
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"the reserve"
in 19 reviews
"education center"
in 12 reviews
"hiking trails"
in 7 reviews
"real florida"
in 6 reviews
"bug spray"
in 5 reviews
"old florida"
in 6 reviews
"wildlife viewing"
in 4 reviews
"wild boar"
in 4 reviews
"parking lot"
in 9 reviews
"trail head"
in 3 reviews
"across the street"
in 7 reviews
"well marked trails"
in 3 reviews
"nice walk"
in 3 reviews
"great place to hike"
in 3 reviews
"scavenger hunt"
in 3 reviews
"boat launch"
in 3 reviews
"beautiful scenery"
in 5 reviews
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1 - 10 of 151 reviews

Reviewed 15 April 2018 via mobile

The area is a protected reserve . This is old Florida and delightful to visit . Parking is limited and located throughout the park . The views are spectacular . This is a great afternoon for water activities , fishing and relaxing .

Thank laj2e7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 March 2018

The GTM reserve has an alternative office south on the A1A in Marineland. From there they have several free walking tours of the beaches, hammocks, flora and fauna nearby. We took two of the hikes and enjoyed both. We learned about the sand, jellyfish that...More

2  Thank Marcia P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 March 2018

My husband and I stopped here spur of the moment for a hike. We did not grab a paper map and ended up getting lost...in an active hunting area! Unfortunately, the signs and the maps located within the reserve do not match up. Luckily, we...More

2  Thank sailnaloha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 4 March 2018

Gorgeous scenery through the reserve! The trails give a glimpse into history as well since there are Timucuan burial mounds in the area. A beautiful place to enjoy nature!

Thank Christine M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2018

We were cruising up A1A and came to this beautiful preserve. We didn't spend a lot of time here, but we did a little hiking and went across the street to the beautiful, pristine beach. This is definitely worth the ride on a nice day...More

Thank ParkerSturbridge
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 January 2018

My companion (who is from Ohio) and I rode our bicycles in "the Guana," as it is known to locals, and into the adjacent Wildlife Management Area the day after Christmas. We happened upon a viewing tower, walked up three flights of steps to the...More

1  Thank Laurawithmora
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 December 2017

This place is amazing because you can walk or bike through the forest, near the river and the trails that cross the beach. I saw aligators, turtles and fish.

Thank cristalesavila
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 December 2017 via mobile

Guana is a great place to visit. The hiking is scenic from the visitors station, but if you really want to see a lot and get further into the wetlands,best to bring a trail or mountain bike due to distance. Favorite access place is a...More

Thank bushidokan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 November 2017

The perfect place to visit if you want to get away from the local tourist traps located in the beach section of the first coast. All nature, with abundant trails, beautiful scenery. This is the real Florida.

Thank JudithW204
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 October 2017

"Guana", how we always refer to it, is a wonderful treasure between St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra. The lake above the dam is popular with fishermen and crabbers, and south of the dam is another boat launch for access to the Intracoastal. There are also...More

1  Thank neptune-mick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Ask a question
Questions & Answers
Robin N
23 February 2018|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from bushidokan | Reviewed this property |
Hi, don’t think so. Need to bring you’re own. Good hiking though if no bike. But suggest entering from the Research building off A1A if hiking.
0
Votes
Sarah A
10 November 2015|
Answer
Response from dimwitt | Reviewed this property |
Princess Place Preserve
0
Votes
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